Mike Jordan and David Warnock came back from last to win the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship round at Thruxton yesterday afternoon (Sunday 2 September).

After a first lap spin, the Lister Storm battled back to victory as the Chrysler Viper of Tim Harvey/Rob Wilson dropped to second after picking up a puncture.

In GTO, Kelvin Burt and Marino Franchitti blasted to victory and the championship title after a faultless performance.

GT qualifying:

Mike Jordan and David Warnock dominated qualifying for round 11 of the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship at Thruxton on Saturday. The Lister Storm headed the times by three-quarters of a second from the Chrysler Viper of Tim Harvey/Rob Wilson.

''The car is fantastic round here,'' said Jordan after setting a stunning pace in the Lister, lapping in 1m10.692s in the morning session. With the temperature higher in the afternoon, few times were improved. ''It's all about fast corner poise,'' said Jordan of the challenging high-speed circuit.

Into second in GT went the Chrysler Viper of Wilson and Harvey. Having tried for a better time in the opening minutes of the second session, they elected to save their tyres and parked the car well before the end of the session. ''We've got to win this one,'' said Wilson, confirming that they are hoping for a wet race to give them a chance of challenging the Lister.

Similarly, the TVR Cerbera Speed 12 of Bobby Verdon-Roe/Michael Caine had a shortened second session after alternator failure stopped the car on the circuit. Their best time from the day put them third on the grid.

Edd Sharpe and Colin Blower qualified the Ultima GTR fourth fastest in GT after a very encouraging showing, having overcome the clutch trouble that hit them at Knockhill.

GTO category:

In the GTO class, Marino Franchitti and Kelvin Burt topped the times in their Porsche 911GT3RS as they bid to secure the GTO title. They set a storming pace, although Burt reckoned they could have gone even quicker. ''I think the car can do a 1m13.5s,'' said Kelvin after setting pole position in 1m14.1s. Right behind was the second Parr Motorsport Porsche of Matt Turner/Ed Horner.

Martin Short and Rob Barff, fresh from racing in Japan last weekend, were third best in the TVR Tuscan R, but their plans to challenge the Porsches in the second session were scuppered by rising temperatures. In the morning session, the car had been hit by throttle cable problems and so third on the grid was their start position. However, they went into the race determined to take the fight to the leading Porsches. ''It's a little bit different here in a GT car to a Formula Ford,'' said Barff, who last raced at Thruxton in 1993.

Close behind were Richard Stanton/Steve Hyde (TVR Tuscan R) and Mark Sumpter/Shaun Balfe (Porsche 911GT3RS). Stanton bounced back from losing a wheel from the car during testing, while Hyde arrived fresh from holiday in time for qualifying. ''That's as close as we thought we were going to get,'' reckoned Sumpter. Sixth best in GTO was the Chrysler Viper of Stephen Day/Curtis Hayles.

Race: 48 laps:

It nearly all went wrong for Warnock on the opening lap. Having led from the rolling start, he spun the Lister at the chicane and the following pack had to take avoiding action. Warnock resumed dead last, more than 45 seconds down on the Wilson Viper.

Up front, Wilson steadily extended his lead over Verdon-Roe as Warnock set about recovering some of the lost ground. ''I had to get as high up as possible after the spin to give Mike a chance,'' said David after battling back up the field before his pit stop.

Wilson pitted to hand over to Harvey and the team changed two left hand side tyres in order to give Harvey as good a chance as possible. ''He can attack for the rest of the race,'' said Wilson. Jordan, meanwhile, was flying through the traffic and was soon able to pass the TVR, which was struggling over handling. ''We're clearly losing big chunks of time,'' said Verdon-Roe after handing over to Caine.

However, the TVR was destined not to finish after flying off the road at Goodwood. ''The left front tyre blew and I probably went into the tyre wall at about 125mph. The car's absolutely knackered,'' reckoned Caine after a big accident.

Then, with nine laps to run, the leading Viper suddenly dived into the pits with a front puncture. The Hayles Racing team soon had Harvey back out, but the Lister had swept ahead to take an unlikely victory. ''The car has been stunning all weekend and it has run faultlessly. Once I saw P1 I rolled it right back,'' said Jordan who had been rapidly closing the gap on the Viper. ''We had to make good TV,'' said Warnock, with tongue firmly in cheek.

With the TVR crashed out, into third in GT came the Ultima GTR of Colin Blower/Edd Sharpe to give the team its best result of the season, narrowly holding off the Porsche 911GT2 of Ashley Ward/Phil Hindley.

The GTO category battle meanwhile was all about the Parr Motorsport Porsches, with Burt and Franchitti sweeping to a resounding victory and securing the championship title. ''That's the way we wanted to do it, we wanted to win the race,'' said an elated Franchitti.

Ed Turner/Matt Horner raced to second in GTO, but had been under immense pressure from the Porsche of Shaun Balfe/Mark Sumpter. A fighting drive from Balfe put the car right in contention and into second in GTO until a rear puncture wrecked their chances. Balfe picked up the puncture on the exit of the chicane and had to drive a full lap at around 30mph to get the car back to the pits.

That left Turner/Horner in a secure second, although the TVR Tuscan R of Steve Hyde/Richard Stanton was always chasing having recovered from an early spin when Stanton was battling with Turner.

The other Tuscan R of Martin Short/Rob Barff missed the race altogether after blowing an engine in the untimed warm-up. The team worked flat out to change the engine for the race, but just ran out of time. Curtis Hayles/Stephen Day brought their Viper through to fourth in GTO, while Sumpter fought back to claim fifth from the Porsche of Paul Knapfield/Tim Sugden.


GT category:

1 Mike Jordan/David Warnock (Lister Storm) 48 laps in 60m57.689s
2 Tim Harvey/Rob Wilson (Chrysler Viper) 61m48.565s
3 Edd Sharpe/Colin Blower (Ultima GTR) 46 laps
4 Phil Hindley/Ashley Ward (Porsche 911GT2) 46 laps

GTO category:

1 Kelvin Burt/Marino Franchitti (Porsche 911GT3RS) 47 laps
2 Matt Turner/Ed Horner (Porsche 911GT3RS) 47 laps
3 Richard Stanton/Steve Hyde (TVR Tuscan R) 47 laps
4 Curtis Hayles/Stephen Day (Chrysler Viper) 46 laps

Provisional championship points after round eleven:

GT category:

1 Warnock and Jordan, 136; 3 Harvey and Wilson, 113; 5 Verdon-Roe and Caine, 108; etc.

GTO category:

1 Burt and Franchitti, 134; 3, Turner and Horner, 88; 5 Sumpter and Balfe, 82; etc.

Next round: Brands Hatch, 16 September.